Twenty – Twenty

 A Year That Will Go Down in History

Exhausting, catatonic, and unpredictable. After 3 members of the Cape Henry community reflected on a news quiz crafted of questions that mentioned top news events of 2020, they were asked to describe 2020 using one word. All three of these words relay a similar message in that the year 2020 was a year that most wish never happened.

 When asked what events of 2020 were the most prominent, Cape Henry teacher, Kristen Dodzik, replied with “COVID-19, the Black Lives Matter movements, and the election.” This response was the same among all three of my interviewees, as well as a worldwide response to what many would claim were the top 3 events in 2020. Although there were evidently unforgettable events that occurred this past year that will be written in our history, we often forget about the value of what came out of these events and how it showed prosperity in a time of weakness. Kristen Dodzik “witnessed the power of Cape Henry being able to come together and accomplish what most schools in our nation could not.” She felt proud of what our school was able to do this year to provide our community with a sense of forgotten normalcy. After the death of George Floyd and Brenna Taylor, Black Lives Matter movements broke out across the United States, starting in major cities like Minneapolis, New York City, and Philadelphia. Mrs.Dodzik explained how although the “rioting, Black Lives Matter movement, and anger in the election” was hard to hear every day on the news, it ultimately “opened a gateway for some important conversations.” These controversial topics have opened the public to much-needed realizations that have been concealed in previous years. 

Mason Dodzik, Cape Henry Alumni, used the word “catatonic” to describe the year 2020. This is a unique way to attach a feeling of immobility and unresponsiveness however, it makes sense when describing a year like 2020. A lockdown with state curfews and travel restrictions. The everlasting fear of criticism,  where one may feel trapped in their own thoughts about any political or racial topics, unable to share what they believe in. Even after having to endure this year of chaos, Mason has noticed a positive aspect of 2020 in that he has begun to appreciate what he had “previously taken for granted.” Mason still has hope that the future of our nation will be bright as he claims, “with our new outlook on life we will choose to make more positive decisions and avoid making the same mistakes.” This past year has shown us many obstacles that in future years could hopefully be prevented if we take all that has happened into account. 

Senior, Ashby Reynolds, reflected on a year surrounding “the worldwide lockdown, the election, rioting, wildfires, and the Black Lives Matter movement.” Ashby was the only one to mention how devastating watching the damage of the wildfires in California was. Ashby was directly affected by these widespread fires. She explained, “I was scared after hearing about all of the families that lost their homes in the fires because of all of my family I have that live there.” Despite all of these hardships, Ashby believes there were still major successes that came out of 2020 and will be helpful in years to come. She stated that due to dealing with a worldwide pandemic and watching how rapidly it spread, in the future “we will be more prepared for unexpected outbreaks of diseases.” Ashby also made a point to mention how optimistic she was about the release of the vaccine. She has high hopes for 2021 being a better year because “many people will get their jobs back and students will be able to return to schools and colleges” due to the public being able to be vaccinated. 

In this unremarkable year of 2020, the world was put on a national lockdown, there was fighting all around the world for racial and political injustices, widespread wildfires, and the quickest release of a vaccine for COVID-19. After all of these events occurred in one year, it allows for time to reflect. A new year acts as a reset button and our nation as a whole is ready to begin with a fresh start. We can grow from our many mistakes, be prepared for the unimaginable, and appreciate the little things we receive in life.